TRIVIAL PURSUITS: Who Was the Last American Astronaut to Fly in Space Alone?

March 8, 2011 ( - No one goes into space without help, but as the space shuttle program winds to a close, do you know who was the last American astronaut to fly in space alone?  


Answer:  Ron Evans 


Give yourself some credit if you named Project Mercury astronaut Gordon Cooper, but the last American astronaut to fly in space alone was Apollo 17 command module pilot Ron Evans, who circled the Moon alone while astronauts Gene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt went to the surface.  

Captain Evans was one of the 19 astronauts selected by NASA in April 1966. He served as a member of the astronaut support crews for the Apollo 7 and Apollo 11 flights and as backup command module pilot for Apollo 14.  Apollo 17 was his first mission into space.

Completing his first space flight, Captain Evans logged 301 hours, 51 minutes in space-1 hour, 6 minutes of which were spent in extravehicular activity. He also holds the record of more time in lunar orbit than anyone else in the world.